Memorial services for Cynthia Ann O’Neal will be held on Friday, February 3, 2012, at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church of Raleigh (101 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh). O’Neal, 37, passed away on January 25, 2012. She served as General Counsel in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Rev. Dr. Saundra Wall Williams of T.E.A.C.H. Ministries and the North Carolina Community College system will preside, and the North Carolina State Employees’ Choir will perform. Lt. Governor Walter Dalton will deliver the eulogy.
O’Neal, who served as general counsel to Lt. Governor Walter Dalton, unexpectedly passed away on January 25 at the age of 37. A native of Zebulon, O’Neal was a double Duke graduate, earning psychology and law degrees in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Prior to her service with Dalton’s office, O’Neal practiced business, securities, and construction law.
O’Neal began her legal career as a law clerk to North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker. She then worked as an associate with the Raleigh firms Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore and Taylor Penry Rash & Riemann before launching her own private practice.
In 2005, O’Neal became the first black woman to be elected to a three-year term to the Council of the North Carolina Bar Association Construction Law Section. She was a former officer and director of the United Minority Contractors of North Carolina and currently served on the boards of the Women’s Forum of North Carolina, the N.C. Center for Women in Public Service and the N.C. Center for Afterschool Programs.
O’Neal had been honored with several awards, including the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship and the Triangle Business Journal “40 Under 40” Leadership Award. She was also recognized as a “Rising Star” by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to the Cynthia O’Neal Memorial Scholarship Fund established with the N.C. Center for Women in Public Service, PO Box 27421, Raleigh, NC 27611. Additionally, expressions of love may be sent to the O’Neal Family, 620 Richardson Road, Zebulon, NC 27597